Another thing I found interesting is the end result of Texas service. There were two routes from Chicago to Texas. One was called the Inter-American which went via St. Louis and served Austin and San Antonio. The other was called the Lone Star which went via Kansas City, Wichita, and Oklahoma City and served Houston. Both trains stopped at both Dallas and Ft. Worth.
October 1978 Amtrak timetable: http://www.timetable...81029&item=0042
According to the PM/TM scores, the Lone Star had a 113 while the Inter-American had a 57. In the 1979 report, both the Lone Star and the Inter-American were recommended to be discontinued. This would have meant there would be no service to Texas from Chicago, Dallas would have no service at all, and Houston and San Antonio would only be served by the Sunset Limited. I think most if not all of us are glad that recommendation didn't happen.
The Lone Star ended in 1979 (https://en.wikipedia...r_(Amtrak_train)) while the Inter-American eventually became the Texas Eagle we know today (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inter-American_(train)). Originally Amtrak ran the Inter-American with through cars to Houston but once the TE was born (1981) they were removed. Essentially the Texas Eagle was essentially choosing one of two routes to Texas like choosing between the Empire Builder and North Coast Hiawatha for a route to Seattle.
For a short time there was a Houston branch from Dallas (https://en.wikipedia...iki/Texas_Eagle). Now there is no Dallas-Houston service at all which I think would be a good route. Now Amtrak is at the mercy of Texas because of PRIIA if they ever want to start the branch again (or run a 750 mile train that happens to pass both cities).
If you had just gone by PM/TM, the Lone Star should have been kept while the Inter-American should've been the train cut. A compromise could have been to have the Texas train go CHI-STL-KCY-Oklahoma City-Dallas/Ft. Worth with a split with one branch to Houston and one to San Antonio/Austin. The STL/KCY branch would also serve as a route lost when they cut the National Limited. If I had to choose, I'd probably have gone with Houston over San Antonio/Austin. Little Rock would've lost service but when the Lone Star was discontinued Wichita and Oklahoma City both lost service. The whole state of Oklahoma didn't get back service until 1999. So which state do you cut off (even though I know most of you would say neither)?
One outside the box solution could've been to keep the Inter-American and merge the Lone Star with the National Limited and run that train New York-Dallas/Houston via STL and KCY. That would've given direct NY to Texas service. Or you could reroute the Lone Star via STL as I suggested and then merge the Inter-American with the National Limited (New York-Dallas/San Antonio via STL and Little Rock). Either way, you have one train from CHI to Texas and one train from New York to Texas. Perhaps that would've given them a reason to keep the National Limited although that would have admittedly been a long shot. The Floridian was probably out as well. At that time, the only remaining service to Florida was via the NEC as the Sunset Limited terminated at NOL back then. Of course, that's the case now.
The 1979 report has also suggested merging the Southwest Limited (now SWC) and San Francisco Zephyr (now CZ) into one train going CHI-KCY-DEN and then splitting at Ogden, Utah. They had also recommended cutting the Pioneer which then was Salt Lake City to Seattle via Portland although that train wasn't cut until 1997. I probably run separate SWC and CZ and run the Pioneer off the CZ at SLC, cancelling both the Empire Builder and the North Coast Hiawatha and running a new train only between CHI and MSP.